The Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould (1834–1924) was a prolific novelist, a writer on travel and mythology, a collector of folk songs and, from 1881, the rector of Lewtrenchard in Devon. It was he who wrote the words of Onward, Christian soldiers
, so solidly set to music by Arthur Sullivan, and he devised both the words and the music of the gentler Now the day is over
. Baring-Gould seems to have had numerous children—though the delightful stories circulating about his forgetfulness in his latter years (“Whose little girl are you, my dear?” “Yours, daddy”) are almost certainly apocryphal. The tune of Gabriel’s Message
is an old Basque noël, arranged here by Edgar Pettman.
from notes by Wadham Sutton © 1993